Thomas Alfred THOMPSON

THOMPSON, Thomas Alfred

Personal Data

Conservative (1867-1942)
Lanark (Ontario)
Birth Date
August 5, 1868
Deceased Date
May 12, 1953

Parliamentary Career

July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
  Lanark (Ontario)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
  Lanark (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 51 of 53)

February 13, 1936


I was somewhat amazed when I heard the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) of a great country such as Canada point to himself and say that the result of the election "was what the people thought of me, and what the people thought of you"- pointing his finger to the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett). Have we ever known such egotism in our lives, the egotism of a man drunk with power? Even if his observation were true, since when has popularity been the measure of true worth? What was the popular cry against the greatest man who ever lived? Away with such a fellow; it is not meet that He should live; crucify Him, crucify Him! Through all the ages, at different times democracy has not ceased crucifying worthy men.

I do not wish to make any observations concerning the leader of the opposition or the Prime Minister of Canada, but I should like to be permitted to read an account which appeared in the Calgary Herald immediately after the election. We find the following:

Mr. King declared: "The result is a victory for democracy. It constitutes a great deliverance, a deliverance of the people from one man

. The Address-Mr. Mclvor

government, from mistaken policies, and from autocratic leadership. It is a triumph for broad principles and policies, as against promises and pledges recklessly and extravagantly made for the purpose of winning votes."

Is anything further needed to show the spirit of the man? Had it been true it should not have been said. I say here and now that we never had a one man government in Canada and that we never had autocratic leadership. But even if it were true, what do hon. members think of a man who gives his opponent a kick in the head when he is down? Let me read further from the Calgary Herald.

Place alongside this rather churlish pronouncement the proclamation issued by Mr. Bennett: "The electors of Canada have decided they desire a change of government. Although from a large number of constituencies members have returned by a minority vote, the result is decisive. The Liberals have been entrusted wtih the responsibility of governing Canada. I wish them well. Although the electors have expressed their dissatisfaction with the services I have been able to render to Canada, I still regard it as a high privilege to have given my best to the dominion during the past five years. I sincerely hope that Mr. King may derive as much satisfaction from serving the country as I have done."

Comparing those statements we find that one is that of an unsportsmanlike politician, and the other is that of a good sportsman and a statesman. With your permission, sir, I shall read further from the comments in the Calgary Herald:

On the one hand we have an ill-tempered victor gloating over his opponent, and on the other the generous-minded, sportsmanlike statesman, cheerfully recognizing the will of the people, and wishing his victorious opponent success in the task which he is about to take upon himself. There is enough common sense and love of fair play in the Canadian people to register and remember the difference between the two men. Mr. King emerged from the test of victory in a discreditable manner. Mr. Bennett accepted overwhelming defeat at the hands of a forgetful people in a manly fashion that will stand to his credit for all time.

That expresses better than I could the feelings of the Canadian people.

Upon this occasion I shall not enter into any lengthy discussion of the speech from the throne. When the measures forecast in it are presented to the house for consideration we shall have an opportunity to discuss them. I should like again however to call to the attention of the house the statement made by the hon. member for East Kootenay, namely, that we are the House of Commons and that the Liberal party has been entrusted with administering the affairs of the dominion.

I, too, wish them well, and if there is any way in which I can assist them I shall be only too pleased to do so. I care not whether it be a Liberal, a Conservative or some other kind of government; I know that the united effort and all the intelligence and brain power possessed by every member in this chamber will be required to bring us out of our difficulties. We have an unemployment problem to solve and a railway problem hanging heavily over our heads. There is another problem in the western provinces; they find themselves in bankruptcy and come here from time to time asking that their bills be paid. How long can this continue? If the western provinces have been unfortunate; if the grasshoppers have eaten the crops; if the drought has burned them out, or if they have been blasted by rust and frost, I would say that we might come to their assistance. But if they, insist upon electing governments which squander their resources, which will guarantee bonds of railways and introduce social legislation involving expenditures they cannot afford, they cannot expect to come to Ottawa with their hats in their hands, asking for help.

Since this government has taken office two treaties have been arranged, one with the United States and the other with Japan. I do not wish to discuss them at length this evening, but I must say that so far as the United States treaty is concerned I am afraid that, like the small boy, we have paid too much for our whistle. While some advantages may come to the lumberman and the stock men, such advantages will be counteracted by the disadvantages which will be suffered by other industries. If Japan is allowed freedom to ship to this country goods manufactured by cheap labour in a country where the standard of living is very low, our industries will be crippled.

I believe in this parliament we should throw aside to a great extent our partyism and attempt to grapple with the great problems confronting this dominion to-day.

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March 11, 1935

Mr. THOMPSON (Lanark):

Will this act apply to cheese and butter makers? Paragraph (b) refers tc industries in which materials are transformed, and in my opinion that would include the cheese and butter industries. They of necessity work over eight hours a day. Again, what about the night watchmen in factories and other places of business, most of whom work twelve hours? Will it be necessary for these firms to go to the expense of having two shifts of night watchmen? I suggest that this will demoralize the cheese factories in eastern Ontario if we are obliged to put two cheese-makers on the job during the day. Some provision should be made to exempt night watchmen and men engaged in cheese and butter factories.

Mr. MaoINNIS: With reference to employees in restaurants, I do not think that the minister can very well shelter himself behind the convention. As already stated, the convention only lays down broad general principles, and it is not necessary to coniform to these principles in enacting legislation for national purposes. Each country will accept the convention as a minimum, but may go as far as it likes in extending the eight hour day law. In regard to restaurants, perhaps they could be included under such industries where articles are manufactured, altered, cleaned and so forth. In restaurants, eggs are manufactured into omelettes and into various other things as well, so that possibly restaurants could be brought under this clause'. But we nhould not forget the restaurant employees,

4Mr I. A. Mackenzie.]

particularly where this work is being carried on by women. The work is arduous where the women are on their feet for long hours in the day and the time should not in any case exceed eight hours a day. Some time ago I made some inquiries into this matter similar to those made by the hon. member for East Hamilton, and I found cases wnere young girls were working for twelve hours a day. As regards the particular place where I made the inquiry, I found out that the employees ha've now been put on an eight hour basis. But as the dominion government has assumed the responsibility of putting legislation of this kind on the statute books, we should make it as broad as possible, particularly so as to cover such people as waitresses in restaurants.

If we are not taking these clauses seriatim, I would like to ask whether paragraph (d) referring to transport of passengers by road Included taxi drivers.

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February 28, 1935

Mr. THOMPSON (Lanark):

There have

been dozens of applications for farm loans in the county of Lanark but they have not even been replied to. I know that in several cases $12 was sent in with the application and was accepted by the Henry government in Ontario and the loans were promised before the last election, but then there was a change of government and these farmers could neither get their loan nor get their money back. I was speaking the other day to a farm valuator and he told me that in the county of Lanark, where he values land, he had not been asked by the present Ontario government to value one farm since the last election. I had a man come into my house within the last ten days and tell me that he had bought a farm, had made application for a loan, but that he had to go out and borrow money privately. He wanted to know if he could get a loan under this act but I told him that the legislation had not yet been passed, and he went out

Farm Loan Act

and borrowed money privately at six per cent interest from another farmer, instead of being able to borrow the money from the Ontario government which had accepted his $12 with his application and had promised to give him a loan.

Furthermore, about the first of December I was in the city of Toronto and I called to see the Hon. Duncan Marshall. I spoke to him about these men in the county of Lanark who were wanting to get farm loans and he told me, "For the present at least we are not making loans. I do not know what our policy will be in the future." I came back and I found that not one loan has been made in the county of Lanark and the farmers there are borrowing what money they require privately. I also want to repeat that many of them who paid in their money with their application have not only not got a loan but they have not received back their $12.

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February 28, 1935

Mr. THOMPSON (Lanark):

When the

hon. member for West Middlesex (Mr. Elliott) was speaking a few minutes ago-

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February 28, 1935

Mr. THOMPSON (Lanark):

I take up

very little of the time of this house, Mr. Chairman, and I only rise to my feet when I feel I have something to say. What I have to say now will not occupy me very long.

In the county of Lanark which I represent, no farm loans have been made since the last Ontario election.

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